‘Elves’ (1989) is a low budget horror film that has more pulp horror and action in its 89 short minutes than all of George Lucas', James Cameron's and Peter Jackson's ‘cartoon-movies’ combined. You would need a Joe Bob Briggs style list to help keep track of all the extra-ordinary moments in this film (Elf Fu?). The problem? The pace of 'Elves' is so monotonous that my brain refuses to pay enough attention to compile said list. Though there are Nazis, satanic masses, power gems, and killer fucking elves (!); ‘Elves’ still manages to be lifeless. The director of this film, whose name is not important enough to mention, sucks the energy and humor out of a script that (it seems) employees an ‘everything INCLUDING the kitchen sink approach. 'Elves' marries 1940s pulp and 1970s exploitation into a beautifully unholy Sabbath, and yet this film still stinks.
The movie doesn't get better than this image. So you can stop reading right here.
Here is a plot breakdown to get you up to speed:
Three ‘twenty-something’ teens are playing Easy Bake Satanic Mass in the woods. After some chanting and fugazi Latin they awaken a demon. This demon is really a rubber elf monster that pops out of a hay pile. This 'it' stretches and grabs at the air so we can see every fold and wrinkle in its faux muppet body. One of these stupid teens is Kristen. Kristen is the lead victim of the film. She isn't the hero, that dishonorable distinction goes to Grizzly Adams himself, Mr. Dan Haggerty. Haggerty looks like he just finished a summer tour of bars and brothels before stepping onto the set of this gem. He plays a depressed, out of work drifter that scores a job as a department store Santa. Their last Santa was a cocaine addict that was found ritualistically murdered in his dressing room so Dan’s appearance is the least of this store’s worries.
Grizzly Adams doesn't know if elves are chasing him or if he's still on a Night Train and kerosine bender from last fall!
Anyway, Kristen and her friends sneak into the department store with their boyfriends for a night of booze and cooze while the demon-elf stalks them from the shadows. This thing is looking to turn Kristen’s special night into a fuckless murder-fest. Good thing Kristen’s father, a crippled Nazi occultist, has secret Nazi spies following her every step to protect her! What the National Socialist Spooks don’t know OR Kristen OR the rubber-elf-creature is that ‘Hard on his Luck’ Santa is sleeping in the back with shotgun in hand. As mayhem erupts Grizzly Santa bursts into action and rescues the survivors (a few of Kristen’s friends get cut to pieces by the elf). Hey wait, weren’t the Nazis trying to save Kristen from the elf-beast too? Well, turns out, not really, they actually need her to mate with the elfen-thing to create…”The Fourth Reich!” In fact Kristen's dad had been planning this lovely union for quite some time. Fast forward a bit and we see that Kristen’s home life is pretty awful. Not only is dad pimpin’ her out to Satan, but her mom is a sociopath that gets off on all this neo-fascist weirdness. Oh’ and her brother loves looking at her titties (loves it)! In short this family ain’t the Winslows.
An victim of Elf murder. When will we start treating this crime seriously?
Moving right along to the end, Dad changes his mind about prostituting his daughter to the devil and uses an ancient Nazi crystal to defeat the creature. While the plot is sowing itself up pretty nicely Dan Haggerty beats the hell out of the remaining Nazi minions. Too bad Nazi Dad waited so long to help because that little elfen creep has already raped his daughter. Although no clothes were shed and no elf penis was seen that rubber SOB still found a way to get it in. Now Kristen is pregnant with the next Hilter! The End. No seriously, that’s the end (DEAL WITH IT!).
‘Elves’ sets up an amazing mythology. As we all know, Hitler genetically engineered elves during World War II to use as spies and assassins throughout Europe (the film shows our little guy blasting someone away with a Luger P08). BUT what was kept a secret was a special modification to the elves. At the end of the war the SS encoded the DNA of the master race inside their adorable little bodies. Kristen’s dad and his fellow pure bloods were tasked with hiding in America and to incestuously create a baby that would be the carrier of the Elf’s Holy Hitler Sperm. The creature was buried close by, awaiting his sacrificial chick to be of age (and DTF!). This entire back story is a mescaline fueled fever dream that should have been put in the hands of an equally insane director or at the very least a competent filmmaker. Instead, we get the producers and director of ‘Elves’. This gnarly idea gets processed into the late 80s horror machine and comes out the other end stale and dumb.
Let’s not forget the ‘actors’. The filmmakers weren’t the only non-professionals on set. No, the cast in this garbage dump also failed miserably. These guys and gals made sure no life was injected into this corpse of a movie. The whole thing tastes like cold Mueslix, a teeth throbbing crunch with a cardboard aftertaste. I wanted to like ‘Elves’. Shit, I wanted to LOVE ‘Elves’, but I can’t kid myself. ‘Elves’ sucked.
Special thanks to the 'VHS Preservation Society' for finding this schlockbuster.